As we all know, change is a good thing, even if it is sometimes scary and unwanted. If we don’t have change somewhat regularly in our lives we stagnate and that’s no good for anyone… This is what we are telling ourselves here at Four Star Video as we experience a staffing change that is sad. Yes, the assistant manager of Four Star, someone who has worked here for over three years and has come to define the experience of shopping here for many people has moved on. Chris first came in to interview with me in July of 2007. Jeff and Chris actually both interviewed with me that month…for one job that was open. They were both obviously so great that I didn’t want to pick just one, so I hired them both. Over time, Chris has helped us here in so many ways, working not just at Four Star but also at Succulence. He has been honest and loyal, totally dependable, and a pleasure to be around. Chris, I thank you so much for your time here and I wish you well for the future!
Please welcome Tanya, Shila’s little sister, who is taking his place. She has been lingering and loitering around the store for so many years, you probably thought she already worked here! We are excited to have her officially on board.
Four Star Video is proud to announce that we are having a movie night at one of our favorite local bars, El Rio at 3158 Mission Street next Tuesday, October 19th, starting at 6:30. This event will be a fundraiser for the Fairmount Elementary School PTA and will have a suggested donation of $5 to get in. We are excited to be showing SAY ANYTHING, starring John Cusack and Ione Skye, directed by Cameron Crowe. We will have some snacks on hand, and we suggest you make responsible use of El Rio’s magnificent bar. We will start the screening with several shorts and trailers, including the trailer for my bandmate J.H. Lucas’s feature film TWO GUYS AND A VAN and there is even a rumor we will be showing a short made by Four Star’s very own resident filmmaker, Andrew Friedman (right, Andrew? Right?). We hope to see you there!
Some big titles out this week include Tilda Swinton’s I AM LOVE, the tragic story of doomed love in turn of the century Milan, LEAVES OF GRASS, starring Edward Norton as twins battling a drug lord in rural Oklahoma, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, an animated adventure about a kid who is planning to be a dragon hunter before he makes friends with one, and JONAH HEX, an action flick starring John Malkovich and Josh Brolin about a bounty hunter trying to save the world from a mean terrorist.
Also, big time television out this week includes IN TREATMENT: SEASON TWO (finally!) and THE TUDORS: THE FINAL SEASON.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my old cat, Pate, who moved in with Chris a few years ago. She is a super loving 17-year-old sweetheart who is looking for a home for her twilight years…If anyone is interested in living with this being who is brimming with personality, please let me know…We would be happy to help support her with any health issues.
Hey last thing, a public proclamation of the deepest love, admiration and appreciation for my wife, Amy Shelf on this, the occasion of our 15th Wedding Anniversary! I have never stopped feeling lucky and deeply in love. Thanks, Amy, for being a great partner, with your eyes wide open. Thanks for enjoying the good times to their fullest, and putting up with the rough times with patience and trust. Thanks for helping me always remember that this is my life, right now, stressful or not, happening this very minute. You are a great and amazing person, and I will love you til my heart stops. I am looking forward to the next 150 years together.
Alrighty then, see you down at the store.
Love and Kisses,
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Daniel O’Neill/Praya Suandokmai.
Directed by Raimund Huber.
* Four schmucks, kidnap a Thai billionaires daughter to save their own pathetic lives after getting in deep with some gangsters…unfortunately, the billionaire doesn’t play the game the way they intended him to. So next time you consider kidnapping as a way to get yourself out of a jam, check this film out.
DANIEL & ANA.
Dario Yazbek Bernal/Marimar Vega.
Directed by Michel Franco.
* Daniel & Ana, best friends, brother and sister, confidants…lovers? Yikes, in this tweaky film, siblings who are kidnapped (again with the kidnapping) are put in a situation which changes their lives forever…New Four Star Video employee Tanya watched this film this weekend and gave it the thumbs up!
Jason Schwartzman/Adrien Brody/Owen Wilson/Angelica Huston/Bill Murray.
Directed by Wes Anderson.
* Criterion has just released this Anderson film about a trio of brothers in search of their mother in the far east… This film was somewhat polarizing…many Wes Anderson fans loved it, others felt that although it had the colors, the art design, the music and the fabulous cast, it critically forgot a compelling story. You make the call.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON.****BD****
Jay Baruchel/Gerard Butler/America Ferrera/Jonah Hill/Christopher Mintz-Plasse/Kristen Wiig.
Directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders.
* A little aspiring dragon killer gets an important lesson when he befriends a dragon and discovers there may be more to the world than he first though. Then he becomes a vegetarian, chains himself to a tree, votes Green party, hands out leaflets, and rails against the dangers of mercury in fish.
I AM LOVE.****BD****
Tilda Swinton/Flavio Parenti.
Directed by Luca Guadagnino.
* Swinton gives her usual unflinching masterful performance as a wealthy woman in turn-of-century Milan who is unable to resist the temptations of passionate adultery.
Josh Brolin/John Malkovich/Megan Fox/Michael Fassbender/Will Arnett.
Directed by Jimmy Hayward.
* A bounty hunter who has reached the end of his line is offered his freedom by the government in exchange for just one little thing…He must stop a madman terrorist from destroying the planet.
LEAVES OF GRASS.****BD****
Edward Norton/Tim Blake Nelson/Susan Sarandon/Richard Dreyfuss/Keri Russell.
Directed by Tim Blake Nelson.
* Norton plays twins in this dark comedy about two very different brothers, one an Ivy League college professor and the other a marijuana farmer in the mid-west, who come together to try to pull off an unlikely scheme against the local drug lord.
David Ka Lik Wong/Ingrid Thulin/Gunnar Bjornstrand.
Directed by Ingmar Bergman.
* Inspired by a theatrical production, this 1958 Bergman film is about a magician troupe coming through a small town in Sweden that doesn’t trust it and wants to prove its magic is fake before letting them perform.
Directed by Kazuo Mori.
* 1959 Samurai story about two skilled rivals who refuse to fight each other no matter how much they are pushed into it.
Sarah Larissa Deckert/.
Directed by Travis Betz.
* This experimental love tale was made by the director of LO, Travis Betz. It is the store of two lovers who wake one Sunday morning and decide not to get out of bed all day…not to go to the bathroom, not for food, not for entertainment, they will find all of that in bed together on this glorious, long, love-filled day.
WHITE ON RICE.
Hiroshi Watanabe/Mio Takada.
Directed by Dave Boyle.
* Jimmy is 40 and guess what, he lives with his sister and shares a bunk-bed with her 10-year-old son. His brother-in-law wishes he would get out of his house and out of his life, a frustration that is compounded tremendously when Jimmy falls in love with his niece.
Directed by Antonio Ferrera and Albert Maysles.
* In 2005, two artists, Jean-Claude and Christo were commissioned by NYC to 7,500 arched gateways through New York city. This is the story of getting this art approved and how the city dwellers reacted to it.
I AM COMIC.
Tim Allen/Tom Arnold/Ant/Ahmed Ahmed.
Directed by Jordan Brady.
* An in-depth look inside the art of stand up comedy.
Kang Chol Hwan.
Directed by N.C. Heikin.
* This doc lets North Korean refugees tell the story of the Korean war in their own words.
DOLLHOUSE: THE COMPLETE SEASON 2.
Created by Joss Whedon.
* Season two in the action story about a mysterious lab that employs its residents to undercover operations and then erases their memories afterward.
THE ESSENTIAL BUGS BUNNY.
* It’s true; it’s essential.
IN TREATMENT: SEASON 2.
* This very addictive series will cause you to need your own therapist after you watch it. Dr. Paul Weston (Byrne) sees five patients, and we, the audience, experience the therapy nearly as though we are in the same room.
SKINS: VOLUME 3.
* More intense and challenging situations await the British teenagers attempting to grow up despite the hypocrisy and vileness of most of the adults around them…Sound familiar?
THE TUDORS: THE FINAL SEASON.
Television/Sexy Costume Drama.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers/Henry Cavill.
* Why did this cool series end? Well, even King Henry VIII could not hold back the hands of time. Eventually, his reign had to come to an end. Season Four promises more hot and complex leadership from the H-Bomb.
A GOLDEN CHRISTMAS: A TRAIL OF PUPPY LOVE.
DINOSAUR TRAIN: DINOSAURS IN THE SNOW.
FRANKIN: FRANKLIN’S SOCCER ADVENTURE.
* Not sure why, but “Franklin” is my go-to name when I am joking with the kids about names…I just love the name…feel free to call me Franklin.
THE GREAT MUSIC CAPER.
NI HAO KAI LAN-PRINCESS KAI-LAN.
SUPER WHY: TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (PBS KIDS).
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THE EXORCIST: EXTENDED DIRECTOR’S CUT AND ORIGINAL THEATRICAL RELEASE.
* First film where I really understood the magic of George Clooney; also I’ve heard some pretty fascinating stories about Cloons’ relationship with the director on the set of this film, which was troubled to say the least.